Archive for Passionworks

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Heart

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2018 by 80smetalman

Heart’s 1985 self-titled album took the band into a more mainstream direction and gained them commercial success. The album contained five singles, “What About Love,” “These Dreams,” “Never,” “Nothin’ At All” and “If Looks Could Kill,” the first four making it into the top ten. Unlike Starship though, I didn’t immediately say that Heart had sold out and became a top 40 band because there is much on this album to like. On the other hand, this album didn’t make me want to put Heart classics such as “Dreamboat Annie,” “Dog and Butterfly” nor even their previous 1983 album, “Passionworks” to one side and not listen to them anymore.

What is interesting about this album is the song arrangement. If one was a top 40 listener, they would only need to listen to the first four tracks because those were the singles. I have always been a little surprised that “If Looks Could Kill” was released as a single because I like it so much. It is a fantastic album opener. Rocky, fast with some catchy hooks, it makes you want to stick around for the rest of the album. Something a great opener should do. Track two is the successful power ballad, “What About Love.” I think that after having the greatest power ballad of all time with “Allies” from their previous album, they probably thought they were on to something. While, “What About Love” is a decent power ballad, I do like Leese’s guitar solo on it, it doesn’t come close to “Allies” in greatness. “Never” would have been better if the keyboards were toned down a little more but it’s still a good song. Then comes the single, “These Dreams,” which was and always will be known as the song Nancy Wilson sings lead. It’s a soft rock ballad and one can’t fault Nancy’s voice, it’s good nor will I make sibling comparisons here. Ann and Nancy may be sisters but they have totally different vocal styles. The irony here is that “These Dreams” was Heart’s first number one single.

Once the four singles are done and dusted, the album goes back more to Heart’s traditional harder rock roots. “Wolf” and “All Eyes” are great rockers, especially the latter which gets my award for the hidden gem for the album. The keyboards are turned down and the guitars up, something that should have happened a little more with one or two of the songs here. The power ballad “Nobody Home” provides a brief respite between the more rocking songs. I’m surprised that was never released as a single as well. “Nothin’ At All” was the fifth single from the album and second to only the opener for hard rockyness, at least as far as singles go. It even reached the top 40 in the UK. “Shell Shock” is a good closer and it contains what is arguably Howard Leese’s best guitar solo for the entire album.

Track Listing:

  1. If Looks Could Kill
  2. What About Love
  3. Never
  4. These Dreams
  5. Wolf
  6. All Eyes
  7. Nobody Home
  8. Nothin’ At All
  9. What He Don’t Know
  10. Shell Shock

Heart (Mullet City or what?) 

Ann Wilson- lead vocals

Nancy Wilson- guitars, backing vocals, lead vocal on “These Dreams,” mandolin

Howard Lesse- guitar, keyboards, mandolin, backing vocals

Mark Andes- bass

Denny Carmassi- drums

Heart’s self-titled album brought them lots of commercial success in 1985. One can’t argue with five singles, four in the top ten with one going to number one. Some might think they sold out. I never thought that and there is enough of the old Heart here on this album to counter that claim.

Next post: Foreigner- Agent Provacteur

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1542834204&sr=1-1&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Heart- Passionworks

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2016 by 80smetalman

Passionworks

One of the great things I remember musically about 1983 was that Heart was back! For many, including myself, their 1980 album “Bebe Le Strange,” as good as it was, signaled the end of Heart as we knew it. Their 1982 album “Private Audition” failed to make an impact on anyone, me included there as well, which was why it got left out of the albums of that year. In the Autumn of 1983, the first single, “How Can I Refuse,” came to my attention thanks to the late night TV programme, “Video Rock.” When I heard it, I loved it. True, that song hasn’t the rocking power of classics like “Barracuda,” “Crazy On You” and “Magic Man,” but it still rocks for me. In fact, it’s number four on my favourite Heart songs list behind the three giants I have mentioned.

“How Can I Refuse” isn’t the only cool rocker on the “Passionworks” album, there are quite a few other good ones. “Blue Guitar,” “Beat By Jelousy,” “Sleep Alone” and “Heavy Heart are all great rock outs and the standouts for me on the album. “Sleep Alone” is definitely a trip back to Heart’s heavy days of the 1970s and “Beat By Jealousy has some really cool guitar hooks. True, there are more synthesizers used here as was the 80s trend but that doesn’t detract from the quality one iota. Ann Wilson’s voice is as great as it had ever been and would continue to be years after. As for Nancy, I feel a bit sexist for not including her among my list of great rhythm guitarists. She definitely belongs there!

Apart from all the great rocking to there are also three ballads and as any Heart fan can tell you, Ann’s voice can sing anything very well. “Johnny Moon” and “Language of Love” bear tribute to the fact. However, there is one ballad here that stands above everything. I even put it above the great power ballad, “Just Between You and Me” by April Wine. What’s more, there isn’t even a guitar solo in the song, so it must be that good for me to like it. If you haven’t guessed already, I’m talking about “Allies.” Play that song, and I’ll stop whatever I’m doing and I mean whatever and just rock out to it. It is the ballad of ballads in my view. The ballads with the rock, plus the song “Together Now” bridging them together, make “Passionworks” a brilliant album.

Track Listing:

  1. How Can I Refuse
  2. Blue Guitar
  3. Johnny Moon
  4. Sleep Alone
  5. Together Now
  6. Allies
  7. (Beat by) Jealousy
  8. Heavy Heart
  9. Love Mistake
  10. Language of Love
  11. Ambush
Heart

Heart

Ann Wilson- vocals

Nancy Wilson- guitar, vocals (lead vocal on track 9)

Howard Leese- lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals

Mark Andes- bass, backing vocals

Danny Carmassi- drums

“Passionworks” paved the way for Heart to comeback in 1983. This album put their hard rock sound into a more marketable 1980s style without old fans like me saying they sold out. Often unremembered, this album is far better than what it has been given credit for.

Next post: Pat Benetar- Live From Earth

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

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